Philadelphia Construction Accident Lawyers: Scaffold Injuries on a Construction Site

August 22, 2016

It comes as no surprise that construction sites are among the top places where injuries occur. Of these injuries, the most common occur on or around scaffolds. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates that approximately 65 percent of construction workers perform their job on scaffolds, the severity of injuries that happen due to construction accidents is high. The types of injuries that occur around scaffolds can also happen near lifts, hoists, and ladders.

Construction workers are at risk for falls due to defective or even improperly installed scaffolds, and are in danger of many other types of injuries when scaffold equipment is deemed unreasonably dangerous. Both workers and pedestrians are at risk of objects falling from scaffolds, lifts, and even ladders. Employers are expected to give a duty of care to those working on their sites by use of protective equipment and gear, along with consistent and well-executed safety precautions such as spotters, regular inspection of equipment, providing safety gear, educating employees of safety protocols, and other preventative measures. However, no matter how much prevention is set in place, accidents still occur.

OSHA Regulations for Scaffolds

Since injuries caused by work around scaffolds are so common, OSHA has set regulations that all employers, supervisors, and workers must adhere to when scaffolds are present.

  • Construction and Design. Both the construction and design of scaffolds must comply with OSHA requirements. This includes the type of equipment to be used in the installation and design of the scaffolds, the capacities in which a scaffold can support workers, how construction must be conducted, and how the scaffolds will be used on the construction sites. For instance, both the scaffold and any scaffold component is required to be able to support not only its own weight but a minimum of four times the intended load for that particular scaffold without failing. Additionally, each and every suspension rope used on the scaffold is required to be able to support a minimum of six times the maximum intended load.
  • After a scaffold has been installed, employers are required to continually ensure the safety of the structures. This means employers are expected to have a competent and knowledgeable person inspect each scaffold and all its components for defects each and every work shift. Inspections include looking at all fall protection equipment, including body belts or harnesses, lanyards, trolley lines, droplines, and points of anchorage, before any employee uses the equipment that day. Additionally, scaffolds are expected to be erected, moved, dismantled, or otherwise altered only with the supervision of a competent person with proper safety training on the equipment. If any defects are found during the inspection, regardless of how small the damage may seem, the worn equipment must be removed from service immediately.

Philadelphia Construction Accident Lawyers at DiTomaso Law Advocate for Those Injured on Construction Sites

Whether you are a worker that has been harmed in a construction accident or simply a passerby that had an object fall on them from a construction site, we can help. Our team of Philadelphia construction accident lawyers at DiTomaso Law understands the legal system in regard to injuries that happen on and near construction sites. Contact us online or call 215-426-4493 today to discuss your options. We proudly serve clients throughout the Greater Philadelphia area including Center City Philadelphia, Southeastern Pennsylvania, and South Jersey.